Mar 10

Democrats won’t leave TABOR alone

Democrats won’t leave TABOR alone

Are you tired of voting at the polls to keep Democrats from taking your hard earned money?

Well, you may have to do it again with Democrats wanting to take another swing at TABOR.

According to the Colorado Sun, Democrat lawmakers want voters to permanently set aside spending caps in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

House Speaker KC Becker, from Boulder, is drafting the measure. Becker at a town hall meeting pleaded, “I’m asking voters ‘Can you let the state keep the revenue we are already collecting?’”

Translation: We’re entitled to keep more of the money we are stealing from you.

The measure would allow the state to keep as much as $960 million in your tax dollars through June 2020.

What don’t these Democrats understand?

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Mar 08

Colorado hospital fees do not violate TABOR, Denver District Court rules (updated)

Colorado hospital fees do not violate TABOR, Denver District Court rules

The fees have generated more than $4.6 billion over the past decade, according to the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

PUBLISHED:  | UPDATED: 

Hospital fees that have generated billions of dollars in Colorado are legal and do not violate Colorado’s Taxpayers Bill of Rights, according to a Denver District Court ruling.

The Wednesday ruling found that the Hospital Provider Fee and the subsequent Healthcare Affordability and Sustainability Fee are “fees, and not taxes, and therefore are not subject to TABOR,” according to a Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) news release.

The ruling is in favor of the health care policy department and the Colorado Department of the Treasury.

In 2015, the TABOR Foundation filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the fees. The hospital provider fee is a charge imposed on hospital stays that other states refer to as a “bed tax.”

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Mar 07

Democratic lawmakers want to ask voters in 2019 to end TABOR cap, but Polis is not so sure

Democratic lawmakers want to ask voters in 2019 to end TABOR cap, but Polis is not so sure

The measure would amount to the most substantial effort in years to rollback the state’s unique limits on government spending

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Mar 04

Will Democratic Primary Voters Tolerate a Liberal? A former Colorado governor will test whether the Sandernistas have taken over the party.

Will Democratic Primary Voters Tolerate a Liberal?

A former Colorado governor will test whether the Sandernistas have taken over the party.

By James Freeman

March 4, 2019 4:55 p.m. ET


Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper at a campaign house party in Manchester, N.H. last month. PHOTO: ELISE AMENDOLA/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is claiming a socialist victory in the battle of ideas. Meanwhile former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is running for President and testing whether economic non-extremists can still win Democratic presidential primaries.

Sunday in Chicago, Mr. Sanders implied that people no longer view him as a Marxist kook. The Chicago Tribune reports on a Sanders speech at Navy Pier:

“Three years ago, they thought we were kind of crazy and extreme, not the case anymore,” he said. “We are not only going to defeat (President Donald) Trump, we are going to transform the United States of America.”

 

Mr. Sanders has certainly made extremism cool among Democratic presidential candidates. All of his fellow senators seeking the party’s nomination have joined him in co-sponsoring the Green New Deal and its promise of government health care and the end of traditional energy sources. They have also voted for an abortion policy so expansive that it allows adults to decide the fate of children even when they are no longer in the womb. Continue reading

Feb 28

State finances are enjoying flush times and some states are sending that bounty back to taxpayers.

Some States, Flush With Cash, Are Sending Money to Taxpayers

Ten years after the recession, many states have revenue surpluses and plan to boost spending or cut taxes

State finances are enjoying flush times and some states are sending that bounty back to taxpayers.
 
Arkansas this month lowered its top personal income-tax rate by 1 percentage point to 5.9% and South Carolina has proposed an income tax rebate to all residents who file returns. In Florida, the governor has proposed lowering property and sales taxes. The givebacks come even as all three states proposed increased spending on education and other priorities.
 
Ten years after the recession, many states have the choice of what to spend revenues on rather than what programs to cut. The National Conference of State Legislatures found in a fall survey that 48 states expected to meet or exceed their revenue expectations.
 
“States have come off of a strong last fiscal year, and the economy is strong so they’re expecting it to continue,” said Kim Rueben, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. “It could mean more spending or cutting taxes.”

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Feb 15

Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights should be strengthened, not repealed

Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights should be strengthened, not repealed

JAY STOOKSBERRY

On Jan. 15, a briefly worded initiative was presented to the Colorado Title Board for consideration to be placed on the 2020 ballot. The brevity of the proposal was commendable. Five words was all it needed: “TABOR – Repeal (Full TABOR Repeal).” Though speculative at this point, defenders of Article X Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution — better known as the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) — should prepare for a fight in 2020.

Well before TABOR became law in 1992, opponents concocted every possible scenario as to how this new constitutional amendment would lead to fiscal armageddon in Colorado. Nearly three decades after its passing, most of this hyperbole — as is the case for most hyperbole — never materialized.

Where is Colorado from a fiscal perspective? According to the States Project, Colorado ranks 30th in the country for total state debt (including unfunded liabilities) as a percentage of gross state product. The Mercatus Center ranks our state as 28th in the nation regarding a combination of solvency for cash, budget, long-run spending, service-level flexibility, and unfunded liabilities. U.S. News ranked Colorado 31st in fiscal stability.

It would seem Colorado is middle of the pack at best. TABOR did not ruin our state’s ability to manage the general fund.

Contrary to popular wisdom of the Chicken Littles who warned about how damaging it would be to Colorado, TABOR doesn’t need to be repealed; it needs to be strengthened. Continue reading